Fifth Sunday after Epiphany

Pastor's Summary of Luke 5;1-11

This is a story of commitment to Jesus--to his message and his destiny. Luke first mentions Simon in 4:38; now Jesus calls him to be a disciple. In the preceding chapter, we read of hostility to Jesus; we also learn what preaching the good news of the kingdom of God involves. We can see the similarity of this passage to stories in Mark and John: they are like the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus in John 21:1-11 and like Mark 1:18-20. Perhaps Luke has taken parts of two sources used by Mark and John and merged them into one story, but perhaps he is using a story not found in other gospels.

The "lake of Gennesaret" is the Sea of Galilee. Gennesaret is the plain on its southwestern shore. The "word of God" in Luke and Acts is the Christian message. Are Peter and Jesus in one boat and :james and John" in the other, or they are all in the same boat? The question probably arises because Luke has merged two stories. Reading on through the gospel, we come to realize that Luke has a great respect and appreciation for Peter-called "Peter" for the first time in v. 8, but not again unti8l 6:14, when Jesus chooses twelve of his disciples. In v. 8, Peter responds to Jesus' action with personal self-judgement--because he recognizes in Jesus more than human power. In v. 5, in calling him "Master" Peter is willing to obey Jesus' command out of duty; then in v. 8 he calls him "Lord", showing his belief.  V. 10 is a milestone (:from now on"). The Greek word zogron ("catching") was commonly used of teachers: they caught their students and thereby brought them new life. Peter, James and John make a total commitment (:left everything" v. 11).